Bellwether Online Tutoring Presentation 2012

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HCC’s Online Tutoring Program: Improving Student Success

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  • Use asynchronous tutoring. Maintain a reasonable, stated turn-around time.Hire tutors with a variety of areas of expertise (ESL and developmental English through literature).Destigmatize tutoring through anonymity.Increase technological skills through computer usage, consistent protocols, and in-person and on-line orientations.Encourage time management through the use of asynchronous tutoring.Free up campus “real estate” for revenue -generating classes since online tutors work from home. Pay online tutors only for the time they work, so there is no “down time.”Add and delete tutors and subjects as needed.
  • Insource or outsource?Synchronous, asynchronous, or both? Platform / communication types?Tech support - internal or externaInsource or outsource? Peer, faculty, other?If insourced, internal or external?Training?Hiring tutors in unknown areas?Supervising unfamiliar subjects? Getting help!Where does the new program fit on the octopus? Reporting?
  • Bellwether Online Tutoring Presentation 2012

    1. 1. HCC’s Online Tutoring Program: Improving Student Success Stephen Levey, Ed.D. Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Instruction Deborah Hardwick Manager, Online Tutoring
    2. 2. About Houston Community College . . .• Educates more than 75,000 students per semester• 1st for international student enrollment among U.S. community colleges• Highly diverse student population: % Student Demographics by Ethnicity 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Afr-Amer Hispanic Asian White Other 1
    3. 3. What Were We Looking to Do? Use Online Tutoring to Increase:Access Success 2
    4. 4. Use Technology. Don’t Let it Use You!“While technology is not a panacea, it must be an integral part of any redesign focused on increased completion.” Nodine, T., Venezia, A., and Bracco, K. (2011) Changing Course: A Guide to Increasing Student Completion in Community Colleges 3
    5. 5. Operational Procedures Loop Develop a plan to implement service and measure the impact of online tutoring on student success.Implement service Implement and conduct improvements, quantitative conduct additional research. research. Assess results of the program. 4
    6. 6. Research Findings• 937 tutoring sessions (units) observed• For every one-unit increase in tutoring usage per semester, student GPA increased by approximately .05 points.• Among all students observed: GPA Service Users 2.915 Non-Users 2.685 5
    7. 7. Future Recommendations for Research Track Increased Demographic Outreach Groups Future Research Study Effect onTrack Subject Retention and Areas Completion 6
    8. 8. SummaryOnline Tutoring:• Addresses two of the primary commitments/tenets of the community college – increased access and student success• Addresses a large, diverse student population• Uses technology instead of letting technology use us• Implements the HCC institutional effectiveness model• Uses research to validate effectiveness of the service and plan for the future 7
    9. 9. And so it began …• 2003 - Northwest College and Distance Ed began using an external online tutoring service.• April, 2006 - The Academic Dean, Southwest College, asked English tutoring supervisor to investigate doing the same.• April, 2006 – Meeting held with Tutors “R” Us sales rep and several English teachers. Problems with oversight uncovered. “Why can’t we do it ourselves?”• Sept. 11, 2006 – We went live. 8
    10. 10. Understanding HCC To understand the complexity we had to overcome in order to develop our online tutoring program,it is necessary to visualize the organizational structure of the institution. 9
    11. 11. Basic NumbersIn September 2006, it took us 11 days to receive 100 papers.Today, we average about 100 submissions per day.Since September 11, 2006 …• 29,448 students have registered and used the system.• Tutors have worked 34,865 hours.• Tutors have responded to 63,226 student submissions. 10
    12. 12. Challenges1. Money2. Territoriality3. Supervision4. 14 different schedules at 14 tutoring centers5. 5 different organizational modes 11
    13. 13. Challenges (continued)6. Varying skill sets from tutors7. Varying levels of supervision and oversight8. No coordination among programs9. Minimal record keeping10. To get started, we had to get the support of… Five academic deans, Five workforce deans, Five student service deans, Five presidents, Five English department chairs, and Five English tutoring supervisors. 12
    14. 14. Our Pre-Launch Goals• Make English tutoring available all the time to everyone.• Increase student’s skills and comfort levels.• Save overhead and increase efficiency, thus making more money available for tutor salaries. 13
    15. 15. Critical DecisionsTechnology We choose to work with Askonline.net, a company that only provides tutoring support technology. It offers a variety of formats, archiving, reporting and tech support. We look at Askonline as a partner, not just a vendor.Content (Tutors) We choose to hire current and recent ex- HCC faculty as tutors.Marketing We choose to market ourselves very aggressively among all our constituent groups. 14
    16. 16. Our Constituents Students Faculty HCC in GeneralThe Online Tutoring Profession 15
    17. 17. Money MattersWhen all the costs are added up… Self-staffed online tutoring costs less than externally-staffed for-hire companies, and the non-monetary rewards are so much greater.As a result of our increasingefficiency and knowledge… Our per-contact costs have fallen from $12.65 / contact in fiscal 2008/2009 to $10.23 today. 16
    18. 18. Find-a-Tutor The Chancellor’s Innovation Fundprovided a small grant so we could developa searchable database of all tutoring at HCC. (Screenshots of Find-a-Tutor can be found in your packets.) 17
    19. 19. The Tutoring ToolbarWe developed a toolbar that allows for consistency andspeed in commenting on papers.We share this toolbar with faculty at HCC and schoolsaround the country that use self-staffed online tutoring. (The toolbar and an explanation of the buttons can be found in your packet.) 18
    20. 20. Summary Managed appropriately, online tutoring is aneconomical, efficient, personal and professional answer to student needs, and it works! Online tutoring is the future! 19

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